Individual study: Isolation-rearing does not appear to affect reproductive behaviour in greater sandhill cranes Grus canadensis tabida in Michigan, USA
Duan W. & Bookhout T.A. (1997) Breeding behavior of isolation-reared sandhill cranes. Journal of Field Ornithology, 68, 200-207
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Artificially incubate and hand-rear cranes in captivity
In order to test hand-rearing techniques for use with whooping cranes Grus americana, a small study in the USA in 1992-3 (Duan & Bookhout 1997) investigated the behaviour of hand-reared male greater sandhill cranes G. canadensis tabida after release and found that they exhibited normal reproductive behaviour. All six paired with females in 1992 (none nested); four pairs nested in 1993, with one nest flooding but the others producing one or two eggs each. The hand-reared males incubated the eggs and three hatched (the remaining nest with two eggs was abandoned following the researchers’ visit), although none of the chicks survived more than a week. The authors conclude that reproductive behaviour is not affected by hand-rearing, which consisted of ‘isolation rearing’ – with the birds not given any access to humans, but instead reared by puppets heads (to avoid imprinting on human carers, see ‘Use puppets to increase the survival or growth of hand-reared chicks’ for studies on this intervention).